Free Agency – AFC East
The off season is almost upon us and most of us will wonder how the season is already over, when it seems like it only began yesterday.
Yet, the off season gives all those NFL teams that you and I follow, the time to evaluate where exactly they stand in the hierarchy and how they can position themselves for the quest for SuperBowl LIII and beyond.
Front Offices will be making all the moves needed to tie up the cornerstone players on their roster, identify what moves need to be made to save cap space to build their free agency shopping lists and get ready for the NFL draft process, which has begun in earnest with last week’s All Star games and this week with the Senior Bowl.
Here, I will try and put the GM hat on and briefly look at who these teams might be interested in once Free Agency begins in March.
So let’s kick it off, with the AFC East, home of the current and possibly future SuperBowl champions.
New England Patriots
Current Cap Space Available: $19,332,519
Notable Free Agents: Nate Solder LT, Dion Lewis RB, Malcolm Butler CB.
While Solder might be allowed test the market, there is not a great amount of options at the position to replace him.
Corner might be where they look to invest in someone like Kyle Fuller, but I have a feeling they might push the boat out for someone along the defensive line where someone like Star Lotulelei, who isn’t likely to be paid in Carolina would be a decent option.
Current Cap Space Available: $30,856,937
Notable Free Agents: Kyle Williams DT, Jordan Matthews WR.
With the Front office convinced that Tyrod Taylor is not the guy to lead them forward as a franchise, it remains to be seen how they decide to address the QB position, whether through the draft or free agency. I lean towards them making their move for QB in the draft and replacing Marcell Dareus at Nose Tackle with someone like Dontari Poe.
Current Cap Space Available: $9,234,791
Notable Free Agents: Jay Cutler QB, Jarvis Landry WR.
Adam Gase is quietly building a decent coaching line up in Miami and it’s now a case of go big or go home. They need help at Guard and I don’t see the top O-Line prospect, Quenton Nelson, being there when they pick, so unless they can get up high enough to take them, they will likely look at someone like Andrew Norwell, who was very solid for the Panthers this regular season.
New York Jets
Current Cap Space Available: $79,809,261
Notable Free Agents: Josh McCowan QB, Mo Claiborne CB, Demario Davis LB, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins TE.
The Jets have a lot of holes to plug and will most likely address their QB situation at pick 6 in the upcoming NFL Draft. Luckily they have ample cap space to start the rebuild as they will need to spend a lot of money on all aspects of the offence, as they also need a RB, multiple WR’s and help on the O-Line as well as QB.
In saying that, I see them spending big bucks on the defence as well with a crying need to get some pass rush, which the likes of Demarcus Lawrence or Ziggy Ansah could help no end.
I can’t see them getting one of the top wideouts and will most likely compete for the likes of Terrelle Pryor and Jordan Matthews.
*Note: Cap Space projections as per listed on www.spotrac.com
This OTI Piece was written by Eric Flynn. Eric is a San Francisco 49ers fan from Cork, Ireland. Huge fantasy focus on game weekends. He has been playing Fantasy Football for over 6 years in all types of leagues, having started out in IDP leagues. Check him out on Twitter @EricJohnFlynn